Poll: Overweight? No Graduation for You.

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Photo Credit: lumaxart

Photo Credit: lumaxart

In 2006, the university in Pennsylvania introduced its Fitness for Life programme with the aim of encouraging students to lose weight.

They demised that if a student had a body mass index (BMI) – a ratio of weight to height – of above 30, then they should take some college-sanctioned steps to show they had lost weight or at least tried.

These might include activities such as walking, exercises, various fitness games, etc.

If those who were assigned to take these courses did not complete them, they would not be allow to graduate.  Similar in concept to United States high school “Exit Exam” that all students must pass in order to obtain a high school diploma.

While it is true that obesity world-wide is on the rise, does it make sense to stop somebody from obtaining a college level degree simply because they do not meet a BMI requirement?

Do you even think the BMI is a good standard to measure against?

How would you feel if you denied a university degree simply because you were overweight?

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Care to Comment?

Ask the readers: Best Weight Gain Tip?

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Today I will ask you, the readers, to create the content for this site.  Many of you are experts yourself having been through this before.  I’ve never tried this concept on this blog and if it works, it will be something I’ll do often.  If not, can’t blame me for not giving it a shot.

Many of us would like to gain weight — some of us just 10 pounds, and others more than 50.  But it’s not easy. We put ourselves through nutrition nightmares, we fail in our daily eating, we continue to stay the same weight, and we feel frustrated and confused about it.  Worse yet, if you are desperate to gain weight you are told by many how lucky you are to be so skinny without even trying.  For an ectomorph who’s trying to pack on muscle, this is just a backhanded compliment.

But you can gain weight. It can be done. Some of you have even done it.  I’ve done it myself after 20 years of natural bodybuilding.

So here’s your question for today:

What’s your best weight gain tip?

Put your two cents in! Let us know in the comments.

Why is Nutrition Important?

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A few days ago a client came to me and thanked me for the meal plans provided. After following them, his results were showing.  But he still had the most common of questions and while he hated to ask … I’m glad he did.

“Why is Nutrition Important?” he said.

Frankly … this comes up a lot.  People blindly follow a routine or a meal plan without understanding even the basics of why nutrition is important.  If they do not grasp the concept, it is very easy to stop following it.  Once you understand the importance and characteristics of a good nutrition program, you will be more inclined to follow it.

“Nutrition is what gives us the raw materials for recuperation, energy, and growth. Without a good diet, your dreams of achieving your ideal body will never be reached.” – Hugo A. Rivera, CFT, SPN, BSCE

The following article was submitted by Hugo Rivera, author of The Body Re-Engineering System.  See The Body Re-Engineering System for more information on packing on quality muscle mass.

What Should A Good Nutrition Program Consist Of?

1) It should favor smaller and frequent feedings throughout the day instead of smaller ones.

Why? Because when you feed your body several times a day, your metabolism increases. Therefore, you burn more fat. Frequent feedings are of particular importance since after three to four hours of no food your body switches to a catabolic state (a state in which you lose muscle and gain fat!). The body believes that it is starving and it starts feeding itself on lean muscle tissue and it prepares to store calories as fat. Bad scenario!

Therefore, in order for your program to work, you will eat between four to six meals (depending gender and goals) a day spaced out at 2-1/2 to 3 hour intervals.

2) Every meal should have carbohydrates, protein and fat in the correct ratios.

Having a meal that is not balanced (for example is all carbohydrates) won’t yield the desired results. Every macro nutrient has to be present in order for the body to absorb them and use them properly. Without boring you with the effect of food on the body’s biochemistry, let’s just say that if you only eat carbohydrates in one meal without anything else, your energy levels will crash in about 30 minutes and your body will be storing any carbohydrates that were not used into fat.

Conversely, if you only eat protein, you will lack energy and your body will not be able to turn the protein into muscle because it is difficult for the body to absorb protein in the absence of carbohydrates. In addition, the ratios for each particular macro nutrient have to be correct in order to get the results that you want.

The ratio of our diet will look like the following:

40% Carbohydrates
40% Protein
20% Fats

(Note that for every serving of carbohydrates, you get a serving of Protein. You can use Bill Phillips Method of creating meals which is to count a portion of carbohydrates as the amount of food the size of your clenched fist and a portion of protein as the amount of food the size of your open palms.)

3) The calories should be cycled.

I strongly believe in caloric cycling as this will not allow the metabolism to get used to a certain caloric level; something that leads to stagnant results.

Therefore, bodybuilders in search of just muscle mass should follow 5 days of high calories (lean body mass x 15) with two days of lower caloric intake (lean body mass x12). Bodybuilders in search of losing fat while building muscle at the same time should follow 5 days of lower caloric intake (lean body mass x12) with 2 days of higher calories (lean body mass x 15).

Note: If you build muscle and lose fat at the same time you will not gain muscle as fast as you would if you just concentrated in muscle mass. However, you get to get both goals accomplished at the same time.

People interested in body sculpting should alternate between two weeks of lower calories (around 2000 for men and 1000 for women) and two weeks of higher calories (around 2700 for men and 1700 for women).

Nutrition Basics

There are 3 macro nutrients that the human body needs in order to function properly.

A) Carbohydrates:

Carbohydrates are your body’s main source of energy. When you ingest carbohydrates your pancreas releases a hormone called insulin.

Insulin is very important because:

  • It grabs the carbohydrates and either stores them in the muscle or stores them as fat.
  • It grabs the amino acids (protein) and shelters them inside the muscle cell for recovery and repair.

Most people that are overweight and are in low fat/high carbohydrate diets got into that condition because they are eating an overabundance of carbohydrates. Too many carbohydrates cause a huge release of insulin. When there is too much insulin in the body, your body turns into a fat storing machine. Therefore, it is important that we eat no more carbohydrates than necessary and that we eat the right amount of carbohydrates.

Now that we have talked about the importance of having just the right amount of carbohydrates, let’s talk about which are the best sources of carbohydrates.

Carbohydrates are divided into complex carbohydrates and simple carbohydrates. The complex carbohydrates give you sustained energy (“timed release”) while the simple carbohydrates gives you immediate energy. It is recommended that you eat mainly complex carbohydrates throughout the day except after the workout where your body needs simple carbohydrates in order to replenish its glycogen levels immediately, something that will aid faster recuperation and rebuild of the muscle. Below is a list of good sources of carbohydrates:

There are two types of carbohydrates:

Complex Carbohydrates:

Starchy:

Oatmeal (1 cup dry)
Sweet potatoes (8 oz baked)
Potatoes (8 oz baked)
Rice (1 cup cooked)
Pasta (8oz cooked)
Corn (1 cup canned)
Peas (2 cups cooked)

Each serving approximately equals 40-50 grams of carbohydrates.

Fibrous:

Broccoli (1/2 cup raw)
Carrots (1 cup raw)
Cauliflower (1/2 cup raw)
Green beans (1/2 cup raw)
Lettuce (5 cups raw)
Mushrooms (3/4 cups raw)
Pepper (1/2 cup raw)
Spinach (3-1/2 cups raw)
Zucchini (1 cup raw).

Each serving approximately equals 6 grams of carbohydrates.
Simple Carbohydrates:

Apples (1 apple)
Bananas (1 banana)
Grapefruit (1 grapefruit)
Grapes (22 grapes)
Oranges (1-1/2 orange)
Pears (1 pear)
Pineapple (3/4 of a cup)

Each serving approximately equals 20-25 grams of carbohydrates.

B) Protein

Every tissue in your body is made up from protein (i.e., muscle, hair, skin, and nails). Proteins are the building blocks of muscle tissue. Without it, building muscle and burning fat efficiently would be impossible. Its importance is paramount. Protein also helps increase your metabolism every time you eat it by 20%! It also makes the carbohydrates timed release, so you get sustained energy throughout the day.

Everybody that is involved in a weight training program should consume between 1 gram of protein to 1.5 grams of protein per pound of lean body mass (meaning that if you are 100 lbs. And have 10% body fat, you should consume at least 90 g of protein since your lean body mass = 90 lbs.). Nobody should consume more than 1.5 grams per pound of lean body mass as this is unnecessary and the extra protein may get turned into fat.

Good examples of protein are eggs (I use Egg Substitute: 1-1/2 cups liquid), chicken breast (cooked, skinless and boneless: 6 oz), turkey (cooked, skinless and boneless: 6 oz), lean (90% lean) red meats (6 oz), and tuna (6 oz). Each serving size equals approximately 35-40 grams of protein.

C) Fats

All the cells in the body have some fat in them. Hormones are manufactured from fats. Also fats lubricate your joints. So if you eliminate the fat from your diet, then your hormonal production will go down and a whole array of chemical reactions will be interrupted. Your body will then start accumulating more body fat than usual so that it has enough fat to keep on functioning. Since testosterone production is halted, so is muscle building. Therefore, in order to have an efficient metabolism we need fat.

There are three types of fats:

Saturated Fats: Saturated fats are associated with heart disease and high cholesterol levels. They are found to a large extent in products of animal origin. However, some vegetable fats are altered in a way that increases the amount of saturated fats in them by a chemical process known as hydrogenation. Hydrogenated vegetable oils are generally found in packaged foods. In addition, coconut oil, palm oil, and palm kernel oil, which are also frequently used in packaged foods and non-dairy creamers are also highly saturated.

Polyunsaturated Fats: Fats that do not have an effect in cholesterol levels. Most of the fats in vegetable oils, such as corn, cottonseed, safflower, soybean, and sunflower oil are polyunsaturated.

Monounsaturated Fats: Fats that have a positive effect on the good cholesterol levels. These fats are usually high on the essential fatty acids and may have antioxidant properties. Sources of these fats are Fish Oils, Virgin Olive Oil, Canola Oil, and Flaxseed Oil. We like to refer to these type of fats as good fats.

Twenty percent of your calories should come from good fats. Any less than 20% and your hormonal production goes down. Any more than 20% and you start accumulating plenty of fat. The way that I get my fats is by taking 1 teaspoon of Flaxseed Oil three times a day (I put them in my protein shakes).

Good sources of fat are canola oil (1 tablespoon), natural peanut butter (2 tablespoons), olive oil (1 tablespoon), flaxseed oil (1 tablespoon), and fish oils (1 tablespoon). Each serving size contains approximately 14 grams of fat.

D) Water

Water is by far the most abundant substance in our body. Without water, an organism would not survive very long. Most people that come to me for advice on how to get in shape, almost always underestimate the value of water.

  • Water is good for the following reasons: Over 65% of your body is composed of water (most of the muscle cell is water).
  • Water cleanses your body from toxins and pollutants that would get you sick.
  • Water is needed for all of the complex chemical reactions that your body needs to perform on a daily basis. Processes such as energy production, muscle building, and fat burning require water. A lack of water would interrupt all of these processes.
  • Water helps lubricate the joints.
  • When the outside temperature is up, water serves as a coolant to bring the body temperature down to where it is supposed to be.
  • Water helps control your appetite. Sometimes when you feel hungry after a good meal this sensation indicates a lack of water. Drinking water at that time would take the craving away.
  • Cold water increases your metabolism.

In order to know how much water your body needs a day, just multiply your lean body weight by .66. This would indicate how many ounces of water you need in a day.


hugoarmscrossed

Hugo A. Rivera, CFT, SPN, BSCE

Hugo A. Rivera, CFT, SPN, BSCE. is a lifetime natural bodybuilder, multi certified personal trainer, industry consultant and fitness expert who not only knows training and nutrition theory, but also applies it on a daily basis as evidenced by the fact that he’s always in shape and by his awards and high placings at numerous national level bodybuilding competitions.

He is also an internationally known best selling fitness author with a very successful franchise of books called “The Body Sculpting Bibles” which collectively have sold over a million copies. Hugo is also the author of the very popular “Body Re-Engineering” e-book, which teaches you how to gain lean muscle mass and get lean without drugs, or fancy expensive supplements, using the secrets he devised after many years of weight problems as a child.

See Hugo’s ebooks online here:

Body Re-Engineering
www.losefatandgainmuscle.com
A complete guide to bodybuilding supplements and eating to gain lean muscle

Shape Up Now
Click Here to Download Your FREE Copy of Shape Up Now
50 page compendium of quality information on getting in shape

You’re Wecome

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It’s Thanksgiving and you know what that means: food, family, friends and sexy pilgrims. Check out Muscle Milk’s foray into the world of branded entertainment with the world’s first Thanksgiving R&B slow jam.

The video stars Tenacious D member JR Reed and tells the story of the pilgrim who never made it into the history books. Enjoy.

Happy Thanksgiving

You’re Welcome via The Sexy Pilgrim

[video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6YuLgyYZhc[/video]

Holiday Body Transformation Challenge to You

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Photo Credit: Jasonlam

Photo Credit: Jasonlam

Every year as Thanksgiving gets closer, you’ve probably seen the depressing reports: “Most people gain between 5 and 10 pounds of body fat in the six weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas.”

“This is the time of year when people celebrate their slowly depreciating life expectancy, via large bottles of whiskey and through gluttonous consumption of very large turkey legs.” - The Fly at ibankcoin.com

I’m not sure if this worries you or not, but a lot of people are terrified about getting fatter in the next two months. They anticipate the workouts falling by the wayside and the holiday food calling out to them irresistibly, defeating even the strongest willpower. There’s good news and bad news about this.

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Get Leaner While Others Pack On Holiday Pounds?

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fiftydayfatloss

A few days ago, fat loss author/expert Tom Venuto
issued a bold challenge to hundreds of thousands of people…

Basically, he “called them out,” but in a motivating sort of way, that is.

Tom was making an announcement about a new type of fitness transformation challenge contest that will run – get this – through ALL the holidays:

Thanksgiving (US), Christmas and New Years.

He actually suggested that now is the BEST time to transform your body and that procrastinating until New Year’s is a pointless waste of time. If you wanted a better body, why wait, right?

He also said that he thinks its downright “neurotic” to believe that you cant get leaner AND enjoy holiday food at the same time.

According to Tom, that is a form of “EITHER / OR THINKING” which leads many people to procrastination, quitting or self-sabotage.

Tom’s email box practically exploded and his blog comments are nearing 400 and still coming in by the hour and he hasn’t even released the contest prizes list or started the registrations yet.

(Rumor has it, he is sending the contest winners somewhere warm and tropical… a perfect place to show off a new body!)

Tom said he has NEVER seen so much excitement in the fitness community in the 10 years he’s been online.

So what created all the buzz?

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The #1 Muscle Building Workout Tool

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The Most Important Musle Building Tool

The Most Important Musle Building Tool

Imagine, for a moment that it’s 6 months from today …

You are frustrated, confused and almost ready to quit the gym.  Everybody is ramping up for the slew of holiday fitness challenges.  You feel compelled to make some kind of change in your fitness routine as you feel nothing works.  You’ve tried everything.  You glance around and see 12 or more “fitness pimp” workout plans.  Those guys.. you want to throw a stone at them.  You’ve spent more money trying to reach your goals through workout plans and dietary supplements that you want to contemplate.  But let’s suppose…

There’s a tool you can use today that you probably are not using to the full potential that would make all those plans work for you.  That would end your frustration.  That won’t cost you a single dime.  Is there such a tool?

Yes!

It is called a workout journal.

As I glanced around my gym today, crowded as usual, I have to tell you.  I was the ONLY person who had a neatly printed out workout journal.  Everybody else had straps, iPods, cell phones and the 1 gallon water jugs.  There were bags skewed around as usual.  Yet in a gym full of 50 or more people, not ONE had a workout journal to track their current and past progress.

Nobody.  None.  Zero.  Zilch.  Need I say more?

How can you expect to make solid fundamental progress if you have NO CLUE as to what you did last week.  Let alone the workout you are about to begin.  Frankly …

If you do not have or use one, it should not come as a surprise as to why you are struggling and frustrated that today is much like the last six months.  Seriously.  In order to make forward progress, the workout you do today has to be in some measurable way harder than the workout you did in the past.  The only way you can know that is to be diligent in tracking what you did before.  Then trying to beat that in some way.  That tracking method is a workout journal!

If you do not have one or use one, get one.  But do not take my word for it.

Sean Nalewanjy talks about the #1 muscle building tool …

[video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgUNZwvu1_U[/video]

Could this be true?

Take The Challenge:

* next time you are in the gym, take a look around.  See who is using any type of workout journal method.

* post your observations in the comments box below.

Most people I know seem to think this is common sense like using a seat belt.  But when confronted with the cold hard truth, almost nobody has this simple tool at their disposal when they need it most.  In the gym, as a reference tool while doing a workout.

So the next time you are frustrated with your progress, rather than slap down yet another $69 dollars on the fitness program of the month plus monthly membership fees (it is the rage now) … go over to Target, Walgreens, Rite-Aid, etc and buy a composition notebook.  I guarantee if you are not using this tool and you start to use it faithfully, there is no way you cannot make progress.

Even if you just did push-ups at home and used this concept, you would notice development in your chest.  Relying on your memory or writing your workout down later is NOT the answer and is not the same.  This is something you will want to have in the gym.  You can later transcribe it to another type of tracking tool if you wish.

Workout Journal’s I Like:

  • A composition notebook
  • Gym Technik: Mobile Fitness Tracking
  • BodySpace
  • The Truly Huge Bodybuilding Workout Journal
  • Free Printable Workout Log | Exercise & Training Logs
  • Mead Composition Book 12-Pack: 100 pages, wide ruled, assorted colors (09918)
  • Free Printable Workout Log

Now if you use a workout journal, I applaud you.  But you are making progress right?  If not, a change up in routine is probably all you need to stimulate new growth.  If you are like most of the typical gym-goers (no offense), you do not have one or you do not use one faithfully and that is a serious problem.

Marc David
“The NoBull Muscle Guy”
www.nobullbodybuilding.com

P.S. – I used to keep workout journals for years.  You do need to do that.  You only need to keep one to track your current progress.  Unless you like being able to see many year’s worth of progress, just keep one that records what you have done over the past 4 months.  It will be long enough to see progress or lack thereof and will allow you to make calculated adjustments for future workouts.

5 Big Reasons Why Everyone Should Train Like Athletes

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Elliott Husle: Pro Strongman

Elliott Husle: Pro Strongman

By Elliott Hulse Co-Creator of Lean Hybrid Muscle

If you’re like me, you probably want nothing more than to feel like a ‘super-stud’ every time you take your shirt off in public. You want to have the confidence to say, ‘Boy, this sweaty shirt is chaffin’ me’, then reach over your shoulder and tear your shirt off like Brad Pitt in Fight Club. When you know that your pecs look like two soup bowls inserted beneath your skin, and your abs are as hard the asphalt you stand on, it’s tough to keep your shirt on!

Today you are gonna learn the top 5 training principles that you MUST implement in order to make your physique and performance goals… a reality. But, before I open the info-floodgates, there is something you’ve got to understand. Men… all men, should recognize that we are athletes and our training programs must reflect this.

Even if you’re a ‘pencil pusher’ or a ‘white collar crook’, the essence of your being is athletic. In order to see any type of fitness results it is essential to recognize that Squats, Power Cleans, 40 Yard Dashes and Vertical Jumps are not only for NFL Combine participants… they are for you!

1. You’re An Athlete By Design

The foundation principle of everything that I teach all begins with one extremely powerful phrase: “We are primal beings living in a modern world”

Our physical bodies have been unchanged for thousands of years. In fact, today, our bodies are an exact expression of what our ancestors were over 100,000 years ago. It is believed that it takes about 100,000 years for 0.001percent of a genome to change… so yourself and Primal Man are for all intents and purposes… the same.

What has changed is how WE have chosen to live, if you can even call it that. As we have ‘advanced’ in technology we have regressed in physical strength and stature.

We function at a much lower capacity than were inherently capable of. This is analogous to those people who buy off-road vehicles that will never see anything but concrete! You’ve been given the ultimate athletic tool… use it.

2. Short, Hard and Intense Workouts Yield Lean, Hard and Muscular Bodies

When you spend over an hour in the gym sitting on useless ‘fitness machines’ while you’re waiting to do your ‘next set’…your nervous system’s primal response is to release Cortisol and Glucocorticoids – which are stress hormones, (these make you sick, sad, fat and, stupid) in response to your body thinking… “Holy Cow, we’ve been training for over an hour… perhaps we’re being chased by a tiger and need to preserve body fat”, then it begins sacrificing muscle tissue for energy! This is called The Catabolic Effect. Also, workouts exceeding 1 hour have been shown to be associated with a rapid decrease in androgen levels.

This is why marathon runners look so emaciated… id much rather look like one of those Lock, Stock & Ready Sprinters with muscles rippling across their backs and abs.

3. Aerobics and Cardio Training Is Boring & Ineffective

Strength coach Charles Poliquin has coined the phrase “Chunky Aerobic Instructor Syndrome” (CAIS). You’ve seen them, they do cardio all day long… don’t you think that they would be a bit leaner? Well, there is a scientific reason as to why they are cubby even though they bounce up and down on those colorful blocks all day long. In fact research has shown that aerobic instructors who taught an average of 3 hours a day maintained a body fat of 22-24% – mind you, that Olympic athletes hover around 9%.

Especially with repetitive exercises like aerobics the body adapts quickly to the stimulus and ceases to respond to the stimulus. Also, you begin to become very fuel-efficient… Listen, think of a metabolism that has adapted to long treks of cardio as being a Honda… it burns very little fuel (i.e. fat) but can go miles and miles. Think of a metabolism that is roaring with increased mitochondria activity (as is present in someone who weight trains with circuits) as a Hummer, large fuel combusting metabolism!

Here’s Why this is so important! You want a stronger heart, without the fat saving response of long boring cardio treks. That is why I teach my clients how to do work capacity sets. We take 4-6 exercises and complete them back to back with no rest and aim to complete them all with in about 2 minutes… if your heart is not ready to pound out of your chest after that, then maybe you should visit your veterinarian!

Here’s a simple circuit that you can do at home – first 20 squats, then 20 lunges, then ‘step ups’ on a bench 10 each leg, finally do 10 squat jumps and get it all done in less than 90 seconds! Kick-ass workout!

We begin every session with Plyometrics and then get right into 3-5 “work capacity” sets for upper and lower body.

4. Get High on Oxygen & Sunshine

Besides the fact that training on treadmills and ‘sit down’ exercise equipment is less effective than getting your feet on the ground and learning how to use your own bodyweight, training indoors can be detrimental to your performance and fitness results.

As ‘primal beings’ we are in need of several vital elements and forms of energy. The suns rays are nourishing to your mind as well as body. It is well documented that those who live in the cooler northern climates that enjoy less sunshine through out the year are several times more likely to suffer from depression.

Also, if you’re like most Americans you work and live indoors (maybe). In fact, the average person spends 90% of their time indoors. Several health experts have propounded that our homes and workplace are the most toxic environments in our lives. Many studies have stated that toxic particles and fumes found in your home and workplace include: air fresheners, spray starch, paints, mothballs and even ‘new car’ smell kills more people every year than automobile accidents!

So, what do you do? Train in the great outdoors! When I train my Strength Camp clients at Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg Florida, not only do we benefit from the sweet bay breeze but also the scenery is beautiful enough to give a nun spring fever!

5. It’s Gotta Be Fun!

Drop out rates for exercise programs are almost as high as the drop out rate in my old middle school! The bottom line is, if you don’t enjoy it – you wont do it. The most effective way to ensure that you stick with your training program is to change it often. This doesn’t mean hop from one modality to the next before you get any results. It means stick with your weight-training program for a minimum of 90 day but change the exercises you use for each body part at least every 3 weeks.

This not only keeps you interested but also, your nervous system will be challenged with the new exercises and be forced to adapt. This yields fast and long-lasting results!

Marc David
“The NoBull Muscle Guy”
www.nobullbodybuilding.com

Download Your Free Copy of The Warrior Physique

Download Your Free Copy of The Warrior Physique

Supply Side West

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Follow Me at Supply Side West

Follow Me at Supply Side West

This year when I venture off to Las Vegas for Supply Side West, I’m going to try and be a bit more creative and use some of the cool technology.  Since I’ve got my wonderful BlackBerry Tour, I have the ability to use UberTwitter to Tweet and even post pictures.  So this is not only a fun show (I’ve been several times before) but it will allow me to try and engage interested parties in a way I wasn’t able to do before.
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